Thinking of upgrading your phone in 2016? Well, there’s a lot to get excited about. Phone manufacturers keep fitting more and more power into thinner phones. So you might even forget that little super computer is in your pocket!
But, it is still very much a two horse race at the moment. Apple versus Android basically. Blackberry isn’t even on the horizon at this point, and Windows Phone isn’t generating interest in the least.
Android still has the majority of phones on the market, while Apple is taking the majority of the profits. This is thanks to high priced phones that are perpetually in demand, and the integrated experience of the App Store.
Plus there’s the iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and even the iPod. But all that said, Apple’s sales and profits mostly come from the iPhone. And with China almost overtaking the US as Apple’s biggest market, sales aren’t looking to slow down any time soon.
So let’s run through some phones to look forward to, and maybe upgrade to, in 2016:
iPhone 7, of Course
You’ll have to wait until September, the traditional time for Apple to launch new phones. Just in time for Christmas, right? But rumors, and little tidbits of information, are flying around all over the place.
Some design changes that have been hinted at include the phone being 100% waterproof, and an eSIM. It’s also been hinted that while the iPhone 6 was 7 millimeters thick, the next version will be only 6 millimeters. More power, smaller phone. Awesome!
And remember to keep your iPhone safe. If you’ve got an iPhone 6, I’m sure you have the best iPhone 6 case, so make sure you get one for the iPhone 7 too!
But what is known for sure is that it will have an A10 processor and have two gigabytes of RAM. And we haven’t even touched on the iPhone 7 Plus:
The hints have been that the screen size will increase to just under six inches, without even increasing the size of the phone. Miraculous? Perhaps not. It could be achieved with a full edge-to-edge screen. So there’s no more wasted empty space around your screen.
Microsoft Surface Phone
The Nokia Lumia range running Windows as an operating system never set the world on fire. And even when Microsoft purchased Nokia’s phone division, things haven’t really improved. Microsoft still has just around 3% of the smart phone market.
It’s attempting to remedy that with Windows 10 running on every single device. To the point where you’ll be able to plug your Windows powered phone into a monitor and keyboard, and use your phone as if it was a fully powered desktop. Things do seem to be very much moving in that direction.
So 2016 may be the year Microsoft finally starts to get traction in the phone market. More than likely from making the most of its deep roots in enterprise.
Although employees these days are using their own phones for work related purposes, work phones are still given out at many offices. Those used to often be Blackberrys, but that could move more to Windows Phone due to the deep integration with Windows and Office.
And Microsoft does appear to (finally) have one of the best selling tablets in the world with the Surface Pro 4. While the iPad’s sales figures keep dropping. So it’s clear that when Microsoft plays to its strength, business, it tends to do far better. This also provides it with far more stability than depending on the fickle nature of consumers.
Apple’s close to $200 billion a year in revenue is largely on the back of one product. Whereas Microsoft is hugely diversified and fully entrenched in the enterprise. It’s slower growing, less exciting, but ridiculously stable and profitable as a business.
So, with the success of Surface Pro 4, the Surface Phone is expected to arrive in 2016. The specs are expected to be:
- 5.5in Quad-HD AMOLED display
- 4GB of RAM
- 64- and 128GB storage options
- 64-bit Intel processor
- 21Mp rear- and 8Mp front cameras
Very high spec phone with a ton of functionality, in other words. Let’s see how the market responds.
A lot of poor quality products, and products that don’t even launch, have originated from Kickstarter. However, at the other end of the scale, there have been huge success stories like Pebble Time. And another significant success story you may have heard about is the Nextbit Robin.
Now this smartphone is scheduled to arrive in February 2016. So how exactly is this phone different, and why should you consider purchasing it?
Well, its selling point is that it’s an Android phone that is designed to be “cloud first”. One benefit you receive from that is space on the phone is optimized automatically, without you losing data.
So if you’re running out of space, due to all the apps, photos and videos on your phone, usually you would have to manually choose what to remove. However, with this phone that decision can be made for you.
But don’t worry! Photos, videos, or apps you don’t use much will be copied to the cloud and then removed from your phone. So it’s still easily accessible for you, and no data has been lost.
However, this feature, if popular, can quite easily be copied by Apple and other manufacturers. So don’t expect this to stay an exclusive feature for long.
Samsung Galaxy S7
The Galaxy phones aren’t the unstoppable force they once were. And Samsung does appear to be struggling somewhat in the market. It has struggled competing against Xiaomi. And also due to the sheer number of Android manufacturers these days (with not a huge amount differentiating them).
However, after the remarkable (if under appreciated) Galaxy S6, Samsung is trying to push the boundaries further with the S7.
4GB, even 6GB of RAM is expected, along with even more powerful chips running the processing and graphics. A 5.1 inch screen is also expected, along with a heart rate monitor and a fingerprint scanner. Just what you always wanted!
No huge leaps forward here, but a remarkable amount of power in this phone, and one of the clear technical leaders in the Android market.